Community reflects on suicide loss

PART OF THE COMMUNITY: Ski for Life representatives Tim and Sue, Longriders CMC's Terry and Karl, Standby Support After Suicide coordinator Tracey Wanganeen, Lifeline South East chief executive officer Leah, Wattle Range Suicide Prevention Network secretary Marg, Treasuring Life Suicide Prevention Network member Tim, StandBy Advisory Group member Lucy (front left) and Mount Gambier & Districts Suicide Prevention Network representative Sam.

LIMESTONE Coast residents touched by the grief and heartbreak of suicide gathered together earlier this week to reflect on the loss of a loved one by suicide.

The annual Survivors of Suicide Loss event was held at Mount Gambier’s Vansittart Park under the coordination of Standby Support After Suicide.

Held Monday, prior to the state lockdown measures, Standby Support After Suicide program coordinator Tracey Wanganeen addressed the importance of the reflection service, which is part of a broader commitment to support people impacted or bereaved by suicide.

Ms Wanganeen said while all COVID-19 restrictions had been imposed to keep people safe, there were potentially negative impacts on people as well.

“Some could create a loss of connection through the inability to visit loved ones, unable to gather to celebrate a special occasion, or more sadly, unable to gather to support each other at funerals,” Ms Wanganeen said.

“Some restrictions have caused a loss of employment or a loss of income through reduced employment as employers may have had to close down or limit their usual industry.

“A loss of employment and the role we play in that work can lead to a loss of identity, who are we if not the team leader or reliable member of a workplace where our skills and abilities were valued?”

Rounding out the public service, Christmas baubles were provided by the Longriders Christian Motor Cycle Group to event attendees to write names of those to be remembered this festive season.

The event was also supported by the Mount Gambier and Districts Suicide Prevention Network, Treasuring Life, Ski for Life and Lifeline.